Koalas aren't bears. They are marsupials, which means that, like kangaroos and opossums, they have pouches in which very young babies are protected as they drink milk and grow. They live mostly up in trees (which makes them “arboreal,” or tree-dwellers), and they eat leaves, leaves, and more leaves from the eucalyptus tree (which makes them herbivores).
Unfortunately, koalas were considered threatened by shrinking habitat—eucalyptus forests being cut down as people build more and more houses and cities—and last month the news got even worse: now koalas are considered an endangered species. It's hard to imagine that this adorable, beloved creature, important symbol of Australia (and Qantas Airline), might go extinct—but people will have to do more to protect koalas from habitat loss, dogs, disease, and even climate change, if we are to still live in a world with koalas!
|Stuffed koalas have been|
popular toys for years.
- Wildlife Fun 4 Kids looks like a great resource, and it provides some great links to help you have fun on Save the Koala Day!
- National Geographic Kids offers info on koalas on its creature feature.
- Learn how to draw a koala here.
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